FULL JUDGMENT: James Quayson’s election as MP for Assin North unconstitutional
The Supreme Court has released the FULL JUDGMENT in which it declared as unconstitutional the election of James Gyakye Quayson as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North in the Central Region.
In a unanimous decision on May 17, 2023, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to expunge the name of Mr Quayson as MP.
The court held that the whole process leading to the election of Mr Quayson – filing of nomination forms, election itself and swearing-in, were all in violation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, which bars a person with dual citizenship from contesting as an MP.
It was the considered view of the court that as of the time Mr Quayson filed his nomination forms in October 2020 to contest for the Assin North seat, he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship and, therefore, was not qualified per Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution.
In view of that the court further held that the Electoral Commission (EC) also violated Article 94(2)(a) of the Constitution when it permitted Mr Quayson to contest the election.
“Upon the true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a), the decision of second defendant [Electoral Commission] to permit the first defendant [James Gyakye Quayson] to contest the parliamentary election of Assin North when the first defendant had not shown evidence of the cancellation of his citizenship of Canada is an act which is inconsistent with and violates Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution,” the court held.
Consequently, the court declared that the election of Mr Quayson as well as his swearing-in as an MP was unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect.
“Upon a true and proper interpretation of 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, the election of the first defendant [James Gyakye Quayson] as Member of Parliament for Assin North was unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.
“Upon the true and proper interpretation of Article 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, the swearing-in of first defendant [James Gyakye Quayson] as Member of Parliament of Assin North Constituency was unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect,” the court held.
The court gave the decision after a constituent of Assin North, Michael Ankomah-Nimfah, invoked its jurisdiction to interpret and enforce the Constitution, with a case that Mr Quayson’s election was unconstitutional.
The seven-member panel of the court was presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, with Justices Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkornoo, Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi and Barbara Ackah-Ayensu as members.
The court said the full reasons for its decision would be filed at the court’s registry by June 7, 2023.
Attached below is a copy of the FULL JUDGMENT filed on Monday June 5, 2023